Thefree flow toll, also known as the free passage system or toll without gate, was implemented in Brazil to modernize and speed up traffic on highways and urban roads.
This system allows vehicles to pass through toll plazas without the need to stop, offering a series of advantages for both drivers and road concessionaires.
Below, I present a detailed article on how it works and how to pay the free flow toll.
Where is the Free Flow toll in operation in Brazil?
The Free Flow toll system, which allows cars to pay tolls without stopping at gates, is already in operation in Brazil. This system was initially implemented on the Rio-Santos highway (BR-101), covering sections in cities such as Ubatuba in São Paulo, and Paraty and Itaguaí in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition, the state of São Paulo plans to expand the Free Flow system throughout the state. This expansion is expected to occur with the completion of the Rodoanel Norte, expected for the second half of 2026.
In this expansion, it is planned to replace all traditional toll plazas with the Free Flow system throughout the state.
Free Flow is a system that uses gantries equipped with cameras and antennas, which automatically identify vehicles.
Vehicles equipped with toll tags, such as Sem Parar or ConectCar, will have the toll amount automatically debited. For those without the tag, payment can be made via PIX, apps or directly at operational bases, within 15 days after passing through the toll booth.
This system represents a significant advance in terms of efficiency and convenience for drivers, in addition to contributing to the reduction of congestion on highways.
How does Free Flow Toll work?
Automatic Identification: The system identifies the vehicle using electronic tags or optical character recognition, which reads the vehicle’s license plate. This information is captured by cameras and radio frequency readers installed at the toll gates.
Automatic Charging: For vehicles equipped with tags, the fare amount is automatically debited from the balance linked to the driver’s card or charged to the associated credit card statement. Some services offer discounts for frequent drivers.
Payment without Tag: Drivers who do not have a tag can make payment through the dealership’s website or app, WhatsApp/Chatbot, Digital Wallet via PIX or credit card, or in person at designated locations .
Payment Deadline: After passing through the toll booth, the driver has 15 days to make payment. Failure to pay within this period results in a traffic fine of R$195.23 and 5 points on your license.
Advantages of Free Flow Tolls
The Free Flow toll system offers several advantages for both highway users and traffic and environmental management. Here are some of the main advantages:
Faster Traffic Flow and Less Congestion: Without traditional toll gates, vehicles do not need to slow down or stop to pay, which helps maintain a steadier traffic flow and reduces congestion, especially at peak times.
Time Savings: Users save significant time that would otherwise be spent waiting in toll lines, making journeys faster and more efficient.
Reduction in Fuel Consumption and Emissions: Constant acceleration and deceleration at traditional toll booths increases fuel consumption and emissions of polluting gases. Free Flow, by maintaining the continuous flow of vehicles, contributes to reducing these emissions.
Improved Road Safety: Removing physical toll barriers can reduce the risk of accidents that frequently occur at toll plazas, where vehicles need to reduce speed abruptly.
Automatic and Flexible Billing: With the use of electronic tags and other forms of automatic payment, such as PIX or apps, the system allows for more flexible and convenient billing.
Discounts for Frequent Users: Some Free Flow systems offer progressive discounts for users who frequently pass through the same toll booths, encouraging continued use of the system.
Efficient Monitoring and Management of Toll Evasion: The system allows for more efficient monitoring of highway use and helps combat toll evasion, since each vehicle is automatically identified as it passes through toll.
Less Environmental Impact on Highways: The elimination of physical toll plazas can reduce the need for major construction and maintenance on the highway, reducing the environmental impact.
Data Collection for Traffic Planning: The system allows the collection of data on vehicle flow, which can be used to plan improvements to road infrastructure and manage traffic more effectively.
These advantages demonstrate how the Free Flow toll system can significantly contribute to a more efficient, safe and sustainable driving experience.